Warriors end Love's streak at 53 games
Kevin Love's remarkable streak of consecutive double-doubles came to an end with a thud, and no one was happier about it than the Minnesota star himself.
Slowed by a thigh injury and worn out from all the attention he's been receiving lately, Love sounded relieved and eager to move on now that it's over.
''Now I can start focusing on playing my game,'' said Love after being held to six points and 12 rebounds in the Timberwolves' 100-77 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Sunday. ''I thought I was doing it for myself but a lot of it was for the fans and everybody watching. I feel a big weight off my shoulders.''
It's the first time since Nov. 19 that Love has failed to register a double-double. His 53-game streak was a franchise record and the longest in the NBA since Elvin Hayes did it in 55 consecutive games in 1973-74.
Love's streak has been the only thing keeping the Timberwolves (17-51) in the headlines these days. Not anymore.
While Love did his part on the boards, he struggled to do anything offensively against Golden State's David Lee. Paired against Love most of the night, Lee repeatedly denied the ball in the low post and kept Love from scoring off offensive rebounds, something that had become of staple of the streak.
''Lee does a good job of high-siding him and fronting him,'' Minnesota coach Kurt Rambis said. ''They also did a good job of collapsing on him when he got the ball inside.''
Sensing his run was over, Love quietly checked out of the game with 4:08 left. He finished just 1 of 6 from the floor.
That was in stark contrast to the game Love had on Feb. 27, when he scorched the Warriors for 37 points and 23 rebounds.
''Kevin's a good friend of mine but when he has a performance like he did against us in Minnesota, definitely pride has to take over and try to stop that streak,'' said Lee, who had eight points and six rebounds. ''I had a lot of help tonight. The biggest thing was I knew if we could keep him from having a big night that we could win another game.''
Stephen Curry had 24 points and nine rebounds, while Monta Ellis and Dorell Wright added 16 points apiece for Golden State, which has already won four more games under first-year coach Keith Smart than it did last season.
The Warriors, who rallied from 21 points down to beat Orlando in overtime on Friday, trailed early before pulling away from the hapless Timberwolves.
Golden State led by five at halftime, went on a 13-2 run coming out of the break, then cruised the rest of the way in a battle of two teams going nowhere this season.
Minnesota had no response and shot just 36.6 percent from the floor while losing for the fourth time in six games. The 77 points were a season low for Rambis' team.
Love made his first shot of the game early in the first quarter but couldn't get much going after that. He was held under 10 points for the first time since going scoreless against the Los Angeles Lakers on Nov. 19.
After sitting the final 2 minutes of the third quarter and the first 3-plus minutes of the fourth, Love returned in the fourth but scored just one point as Minnesota struggled to get him the ball.
When Love went to the bench for good in the fourth, a section of Warriors fans chanted, ''Your streak's over.''
''I'm not too upset that the streak's come to an end,'' Love said. ''It's OK. If we were winning and I was getting this, it would mean a lot more, but it is what it is.''
None of the Timberwolves did much, either, and Minnesota lost to Golden State for the third time in four games this season.
The Warriors, who set a franchise record with 21 3-pointers in Friday's win over Orlando, cooled off considerably from beyond the arc - though it hardly mattered. Golden State led by as much as 24 and got a lift from reserve Lew Amundson.
Amundson had 11 points and seven rebounds, helping overcome center Andris Biedrins' sluggish night. Biedrins had just six rebounds and was held scoreless.
Wright made a 3-pointer and a fast-break layup on consecutive possessions to give the Warriors a 62-46 midway through the third quarter. Curry later added a pair of 3-pointers in the fourth when Golden State led 92-70.
Notes: Golden State rookie Ekpe Udoh had a season-high five blocks. ... The Warriors clinched a winning record at home for the fifth time in the last six years.